Ken Jackson, of Jackson Brown & Associates, responds to Andy Skinner's lambasting in last week's Media Types of Advantage West Midlands and Marketing Birmingham
It's not the fault of Advantage West Midlands or Marketing Birmingham that they don't get the message over in the way freelances would.
It's down to the way they operate.
Too many management layers needed for approval, in my view, and by the time somebody says OK, the opportunities have been lost.
Government quangos invariably have too much red tape to get through before somebody realises that a mere media type is talking good common sense.
I noticed the difference a few years ago when leaving Tarmac, where I was director of corporate affairs, to set up on my own.
My first clients were government organisations who were too intent on covering their backs or paying heed to their career prospects than being proactive and backing their own judgment.
Politics also invariably raised its ugly head and when I finally did get the go-ahead, the result was a two-headed camel which totally missed the point and was totally lacking in any real information.
The trouble is that any organisation which relies on funds from the government is not nippy enough on its feet to assess what's needed, what the angle should be and go for it.
All too often if they have a bright spark on the front line he's held back by a jobsworth who couldn't recognise a good story extolling the true virtues of the region if he tripped over it. In many ways, the new city of Wolverhampton might teach Birmingham a thing or two.
About 20 years ago the then borough council got together with the top business leaders in the town to form an independent group which would shout for the town.
Wolverhampton Partners in Progress has been regularly consulted by government ministers, MPs of all shades of opinion, captains of industry, the university, local newspaper editors, the local science park ...and the healthy liaison continues.
I'm in the sticks at Stafford these days but, during my 12 years in Birmingham, it used to have a very healthy Midlands Industrialists' Liaison Group which comprised Glynwed, Tarmac, IMI, Brintons, Cadburys, and various others who carried out a similar role to Wolverhampton's Partners in Progress.
People like the late Sir Eric Pountain of Tarmac, a former Midlands Businessman of the Year and National Businessman of the Year, plus many other awards for exemplifying Britain's fightback in the late 70s and 80s; Gary Allen of IMI; Gary Davies of Glynwed; Tim Brinton of Brinton's Carpets; to name but a few, were all in the vanguard of selling Birmingham and the Midlands.
If the Midland Industrialists group is not still going could I suggest that it is reconstituted by people like the Richardsons, Tony Gallagher, Rod Ackrill and some of the other new rising stars as the politicians of all sides are busy scoring points than getting on with the job of selling Brum.
Meanwhile if it's down to the hacks again I can assure you that London is full of journalists and PR people who learned their craft with the The Birmingham Post or Evening Mail, which are still regarded as valuable jumping off posts for the London scene.